Monday, September 11, 2017

1) Indonesian officials response to Apia protest ‘arrogant’


1) Indonesian officials response to Apia protest ‘arrogant’
4:40 pm today 

Indonesian officials have been criticised for the manner of their condemnation of a West Papua protest during the Pacific Forum summit in Apia.

protest in support of West Papua's independence movement was held outside the venue of the Pacific Island Forum Leaders summit in Samoa's capital last week.
Subsequently, Indonesia's Ambassador to New Zealand, Samoa and Tonga, Tantowi Yahya, condemned the protest in a heated press conference.
"In our perspective, talking about West Papua in this conference is not the place because from the beginning there is no agenda as such," said the ambassador who was attending the summit as part of a large Indonesian delegation.
The Samoa Observer reported that voices were raised during the conference held by Mr Tantowi and another Indonesian government representative, Franzalbert Joku, attracting the attention of police.
Mr Joku, a West Papuan, said the Forum was not the place for the Papua issue to be raised, and accused Pacific Islanders of being misled on a human rights situation that had largely improved.
"It's regrettable that Pacific Islanders all of the sudden want to address the Papua issue, now," he said.
"The Papua issue has been at the forefront since the late 50s and early 60s. We have seen our worst. Where the hell were the Pacific Island nations when we really needed that kind of expression and that kind of concern coming from them?

The co-ordinator of the workers union Samoa First, Jerome Mika, who earlier led the protest, said Mr Joku's response to media in regards to West Papua was appalling.
"I think it's arrogant and we won't be bullied by people like the Indonesian representative," said Mr Mika.
"It also shows just the sort of behaviour and the condescending behaviour that we're getting as a Pacific when we should be standing together for our West Papua brothers and sisters. We should also be speaking out as a collective rather than as individuals."
A Vanuatu-based West Papuan who had campaigned for independence for decades, Andy Ayamiseba, said he generally respected Mr Joku's efforts to strive for a better Papua within the Indonesian system. But Mr Ayamiseba noted Mr Joku's "amateur reaction" at the press conference.
"As far as I am concerned this explained that the Indonesian lobby in the Pacific Region has come to a dead end," Mr Ayamiseba said.

Tuilaepa defends Forum leaders over West Papua

Samoa's prime minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi has defended the brief wording about West Papua in the communiqué from last week's Pacific Islands Forum leaders summit.
The previous two Forum summits agreed for Pacific leaders to push Indonesia's government on the matter of human rights abuses in Papua region.
However Jakarta knocked back the Forum's aim of a fact-finding mission to Papua.
Despite this, the communiqué from last week’s summit said leaders noted "constructive engagement" with Jakarta on Papua and that they would "continue a dialogue in an open and constructive manner".

Speaking after he and fellow Pacific leaders concluded their summit, Tuilaepa denied a suggestion that the language used was weak.
"It's the most powerful wording we could find. You know, these issues are very sensitive," said the Samoan prime minister whose government recently embarked on a trade relationship with Indonesia.
Meanwhile, New Zealand's Foreign Minister indicated there was concern in the Pacific Islands about the West Papua situation, and stressed the importance of keeping the lines of communication open.
According to Gerry Brownlee, engagement with Jakarta over West Papua was predominantly about human rights issues.
“Of course if you think about Timor Leste started out as being a similar dialogue with the Indonesian government and I think what it is really saying is (there's) no desire to see this escalate into out-and-out warfare," he said.
While, the Apia Forum did not advance the West Papua issue to any significant degree, regional countries with the Forum who are concerned about Papua are taking it up at the United Nations level.

Illustration of Papua women with her children – unicef – IST

Jayapura, Jubi – Women’s Empowerment, Child Protection, and Family Planning Office of Papua Province asked women not to be afraid to report the acts of violence experienced by women and children in the area.
The Office of Women’s Empowerment, Child Protection, and Family Planning of Papua Province, Annike Rawar, believes that there are still women who are reluctant to report the violence for fear.
“We are ready to provide legal assistance to women so that the perpetrators can be penalized according to the rules of law,” said Annike, in Jayapura, Sunday (September 10).

According to her, the number of domestic violence in Papua and West Papua since 2016 has touched the number of 2000 cases.
“This number is recorded in the police and the Department of Women Empowerment,” she said.
By 2017 it has 19 cases of violence, most of which are rape of women and minors.
“The case is we have asked the police to process because this is a criminal act that must be processed according to the rule of law,” he said.
Chairman of the National Commission on Violence Against Women (Komnas Perempuan) Azriana, suggesting the government and the people to use the opportunities given the special autonomy law to move forward in fulfillment of Papuan women, especially those who experience violence and human rights abuses.
“When talking about the welfare of Papuan women who are experiencing violence and layered discrimination, we must see this law as an opportunity which is not yet fully uphold,” Azriana said. (*)


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